Harold Ford to Speak at UT Spring Commencement

KNOXVILLE — Rep. Harold E. Ford will speak at UT’s spring commencement at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in Thompson-Boling arena.

Ford, keynote speaker at the 2000 Democratic National Convention, is a Memphis native elected in 1996 at age 26 to represent Tennessee’s 9th congressional district.

As a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, he fought for the bipartisan No

Rep. Harold E. Ford

Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which overhauled the federal role in K-12 education.

He authored the Make College Affordable Act, establishing tax deductions for tuition, fees, room and board, and student loans.

Ford also is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services whose oversight includes securities, insurance, banking, and consumer credit.

He introduced the Consumer Credit Empowerment Act to give consumers free access to their credit reports and help them avoid credit problems.

Ford also has been active in legislation on prescription drug coverage, community service, homeland security and veteran’s benefits.

Ford, eldest son of former U.S. Rep. Harold E. Ford and Dorothy Ford, received the law degree from the University of Michigan and the bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Before his election to Congress, Ford was special assistant for economic development for the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. He also served as special assistant to the 1992 Clinton-Gore transition team and as an aide to the Senate Budget Committee under former U.S. Sen. James Sasser.

UT last year discontinued summer commencement and began allowing students scheduled to graduate summer semester to attend the spring ceremony.

About 1,850 spring graduates and 400 summer graduates are scheduled to attend Saturday’s ceremony.

A breakdown of the candidates for undergraduate degrees by college shows: 153 in agricultural sciences and natural resources; 1,282 arts and sciences; 527 in business administration; 281 in communications; 119 in education; 219 in engineering; 264 in human ecology; 76 in architecture; 106 in nursing; 32 in social work; and 67 in veterinary medicine.

The breakdown of graduate degrees is: 831 masters; seven doctor of education; 70 doctor of philosophy; 12 education specialists; and 142 law.

Parking for commencement is available in the following areas: G-10 entering from Neyland Drive, C-17, C-18, and C-3.